Brooks, Walters, Gregory elected to leadership roles at UNCP

Ed Brooks
Ed Brooks

The UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees elected new executive officers on Tuesday, including naming two alumnae to key leadership positions. 

Pembroke attorney Ed Brooks, who joined the board in 2019, will take the helm as the new chair of the board this fall. Joining Brooks are Allison Harrington Walters ’95 as vice chair and Linda “Mickey” Gregory ’88 as secretary.

"I’m grateful for the unwavering dedication of each of our Board of Trustees year after year,” said Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings. “I am equally excited about our new leadership and the unique vision and perspectives they will add during this pivotal time in our university’s history. Their combined experience and proven commitment to our university will greatly benefit our university as we plan for our bright future.”

Brooks, a Pembroke, N.C., native and Robeson County assistant attorney succeeds Brigadier General Allen Jamerson (Ret.) Allen Jamerson. He said he was “humbled” when former chairman Jamerson asked if he’d been interested in serving as chair.

“It was humbling to look around the room at the resumes, the qualifications, the experience, all the wisdom, and the fact they would choose me,” Brooks said. “My commitment is to lead the board in a way that would reflect that wisdom and experience.”

In his new role, Brooks said the biggest issue is “with the budget economy we are in and various struggles that Division II schools face, my focus is to ensure that the student experience doesn’t change for a lack of resources.

“We want to ensure that every student who comes to UNC Pembroke has the best experience that they can and that we use the resources most effectively to ensure that those students have that experience,” Brooks said.

Brooks, Harrington Walters, and Gregory each expressed enthusiasm about the university's current state, highlighting the launch of new academic programs, including a Doctor of Optometry, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy.

“UNCP is not just surviving––we are thriving,” Brooks said. “We are continuing to expand programs and add educational opportunities for our students, and we are doing it in a manner that’s the most cost-effective. We are keeping the students in mind as we create programs to meet the market needs while ensuring that students are receiving the most return for their investment.”

Harrington Walters, first appointed to the board in 2018, is the owner and president of Speech Solutions, Inc., a speech pathology service provider with four offices in southeastern North Carolina. 

“I am honored to serve in this role on the board,” said Harrington Walters of Lumberton. “This is an exciting time to be a part of what is happening at UNCP. I cannot wait to see what the future holds with everything we have implemented. I am excited about what UNCP can do for our students and county. The new Doctor of Optometry program will put UNCP on the map. It’s a super exciting time to serve on this board.”

Gregory, former Lumberton Visitors Bureau executive director, will continue as secretary. The Lumberton resident is set to retire from Canal Wood, LLC, where she has been employed for 43 years.

“It’s a real honor,” said Gregory, who has served on the board since 2020. “One of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done is serve on the board at UNCP. It makes me very proud. The future of our university is very bright with the recent announcement of the School of Optometry and our new DNP. It is a university that is on the move with some of the best leadership I’ve ever worked with.”